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Week Ahead (14 June)

W/C Monday, 14 June - Commission to go to markets to raise first tranche of debt for recovery fund...

The European Commissioner for Budget and Administration, Johannes Hahn, said on Thursday that the Commission would hold its first issuance of debt this week to finance recovery fund expenditure. Hahn did not reveal the exact timing of the issuance or the type of maturities which would be involved, citing commercial sensitivities. Pursuant to a 1 June decision of the Commission, up to €80 billion in debt will be raised by the end of 2021, made up of a variety of bonds of between three- and thirty-year maturity, as well as shorter-term EU bills with up to one year maturity.

The €80 billion total would cover the first round of disbursements to Member States, amounting to 13% of the total of each Member State's Recovery and Resilience Plan.

... as first RRP Plans are set to be approved

Last Wednesday, the European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, announced that the Commission is likely to approve the first of the Member State plans this week. Portugal, Denmark, Luxembourg, Portugal and Spain are set to get the green light with the von der Leyen set to visit each country to inspect major projects earmarked to receive EU funds.

More Member State plans are expected to be approved shortly, with officials reporting that 12 plans will be adopted before the European Council summit on 24 and 25 June. However, on Friday, five Member States - Croatia, Slovenia, Poland, Sweden and Romania – asked for a two-week extension on the Commission’s assessment period, which may delay the overall approval process slightly.

Tuesday, 15 June - Ruling expected in Belgium v Facebook case

The Court of Justice of the European Union decision in the case of Facebook v Belgian Data Protection Authority is set to be delivered on Tuesday. The case concerns a claim made by the Belgian Data Protection Authority that Facebook breached the privacy rights of millions of Belgian citizens by placing cookies on individuals’ devices without their consent.

Advocate General Michal Bobek gave an advisory opinion in January on the case in which he stated that national privacy authorities in EU Member States can in certain circumstances take action against a company, even if the company has its EU headquarters in another Member State. If the CJEU agrees with Bobek, this could have significant implications for tech companies in the EU, with the possibility of an increase in the number of cases being taken against such companies.

Friday, 18 June - Eurogroup to discuss Markets in Crypto-Assets regulation

Member State finance ministers will discuss the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) bill at Friday's Eurogroup meeting in Luxembourg. The debate comes after the European Council finalised its proposed amendments to the legislation last week. The Council has proposed amendments in the areas of supervision, vetoes and the categorisations of stablecoins. Specifically, it is recommending that digital assets are separated into two categories, namely electronic monetary tokens (EMTs), which are tied to central bank-issued currencies, and asset referenced tokens (ARTs), which are tied to a basket of assets.

The deadline for submission of amendments to the MiCA regulation at the European Parliament also closed last week. It will now begin negotiations on the proposed amendments. Final talks with member state capitals are expected to take place in autumn.

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